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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More History Lessons

More history lessons:  Celts trying to defend themselves from invading Romans.

First Year Ballerina

Isabelle has waited 2 long years to start ballet.  She's faithfully danced with Abby at home and couldn't wait to start her own class.  Well, our rule is that once you start Kindergarten, you can do sports that we have to pay for.  So here it goes:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Homeschool Fun

When your history class talks about the Celts.....

Monday, October 24, 2016

Beach Vacation 2016

Ahhhhhh.  The beach.   One of those glorious places where you just feel closer to God.  Where your soul is more at peace than usual.  Where you look up from inside your own little self and actually lift your head to see.  Does wonders for the soul.

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?" - Isaiah 40:12 NIV

"Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know!" Proverbs 30:4 NASV

Yachats, Oregon was the destination for our trip where we would sleep for 5 (!!!) nights at the incredible Arbor House North, right in front of the ocean.  Amazing.  

Arbor House North, 635 Lemwick Avenue is where we stayed in Yachats, Oregon.  A fantastic place to stay.  So luxurious, everything was thought of, your every need.  Even a gaming room for rainy days, complete with ping-pong, pool table and foosball.  This is literally looking over from where Isabelle is standing in the picture below.  

Isabelly fascinated by the crashing waves right in front of our place.  It was such a great place with little chasms and waves pounding the rocks.  It made the most dramatic background music at night when everything else was quiet.

Also right in front of our rental.  There were tiny, tiny pepples all across the beach in the background where Dave, Nathan and Abby are.  The kids loved hunting for agates there the first day.  They were so excited about those tiny treasures.

Love this picture of Hannah.  She was excited every day to be here.  But man did she scare me running around at that beach.  Thankfully she wasn't at this beach very often.  When she was, she kept me and grandma running.

We were all thrilled to have Copper with us on this trip.  On the way there we told the kids that we would basically stay at a dump, because that was the only place dogs were allowed.  Then grandma threw in there that we had to harvest onions for 2 hours to pay for the place.  The kids didn't even complain.  :-)  We also didn't tell them that we'd stay 6 days and 5 nights until we were at the place.

Isabelly and her daddy.  I love that man.  Have I mentioned that?  I love being at the beach with him.  It soothes him.  He is so relaxed there.

Abby agate hunting.  Even pretty but broken shell pieces were considered treasures. 

The view from just about every bedroom and the living room in our house.  Breathtaking.

Living room view.  Man, I want to go back right now....

Grandma trying to find something to do. It's hard when you are on vacation and there isn't much to do.  :-)  Grandma got sick on the last day!

Abby fell in love with this decorative bear and had a hard time giving him back.  But he was well loved for the time we stayed.

I absolutely adored these white marble tables.  To be honest, we probably all fell in love with this house and everything about it.

On the day when the boys went to Newport TradeWinds and went ocean fishing/crabbing, we decided to visit a rock shop (Nature's Bling) that we passed every day.  And boy did we luck out!  Probably the best rock shop we've been to and we've been to a lot.  It's between Yachats and Waldport and looks totally unassuming.  That big chunk is a Citrine and the owner left it outside the night before.  But his mind eased his mind reminding him that it isn't something that is easily picked up and carried off.
The girls were able to get little dinosaur kits and the shop has a separate room where kids can dig for their fossils (real ones from Marocco, by the way, and get dirty).  The girls had a blast with their little paleontologist tool kits and spent well over an hour in there.  They also each picked an Amethyst of their choise, while mom picked a rock for dad and even found a fossilized Megalondon tooth for Nathan.  Was he ever excited!  We also picked up a little something for Earline, as she has churned my children's love for rocks and blessed them with many gifts.

Abby was utterly amazed at the size and stunning beauty of the rocks this shop offered.  Some of the pieces were worth over $20,000!
The lady who owns the shop is also a fellow homeschooler.  We had a great conversation and as my kids were just studying certain elements, she found a manmade material that was made of them and heated to different temperatures and gave one to each of them.  How cool was that?

The Price is Right girls. You could win this rock!

This was also a huge crystal.  It seems smaller on this picture but it was not.

As it got closer to pick up excited Nathan and poor, vomiting Dave, we headed to Newport.  I felt terrible for Dave.  He had been thrilled to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip with Nathan and got totally sick.  Until they got back, I didn't even know what exactly was going on and if Nathan was even having any fun at all or was vomiting as well.  I only hear Dave vomiting when he tried to call me.
Thankfully though, Nathan had a blast.  And saved our fishing quota!  He managed to catch 5 rock fish and we got our full quota of crab for 24 total nicely sized crabs!  That paid for the fishing trip.  And even after vomiting for 3 hours, as soon as they got into port, Dave felt better within a few minutes.  Who would have thought.  He was even able to enjoy his beloved crab the same evening.

The girls and I went to Mo's to have lunch together.  Little did we know that this is the exact spot where Dave and Nathan would dock and the men below would cook our crab.  Had we known, we would have stayed and watched.  But we missed it.

It's the little things in life....  Mo's puts these sharks on the kids' drinking straws and they were the highlight of the day for the girls.  They are still beloved, three weeks after the trip.  We also had the nicest waitress who genuinely enjoyed the girls and was very eager to treat them any way she could, extra saltines, a little extra of this, a little of that.

I had a fantastic cobbler there and then the girls wanted this cookie sundae.  I think they ate the whipped cream before they realized how stuffed they already were....

While waiting for the guys to call us, we strolled along the store front and found this dock with stinky and loud sealions.  They were fascinating to watch.  We tried to figure out some of their behaviour, but alas, we are no sea lions.  This was a nice treat after finding out that the Sea Lion Caves were closed due to them putting in a new elevator.  Really????  Only time in a decade when we are there?  :-)

After reuniting with the boys, we went to dock we had watched earlier through the window while we waited on the fishermen to cook our crab.  As they pulled them out, they offered the crab hearts.  Isabellem my adventurous eater, volunteered.  I have to add that she loves crab just about as much as her dad.

Here she is showing her great pleasure at the flavor of the crab hearts.  Her culinary bravery was admired by many on the dock which in turn made her feel warm and fuzzy inside, along with the first taste of crab.  :-)

Nathan really wanted to be brave and adventurous, but he was also not quite certain if he was going to vomit.  In the end he tried it.

He said he liked the flavor but from the expression on his face, he is still debating which way this should go.

While strolling back through the stores, we even ran into Captain Gary Ripka from the Deadliest Catch spin-off Dungeon Cove!  He had just been on the Steve Harvey show with his son and showed us the footage.  He was really nice and still kind of in awe that people recognized him.  My kids were just a little star-struck as the show is one of our favorites.  This is also the reason why Nathan freaked out a bit realizing that he had to cross "the bar" to get to the ocean to go fishing.

This was our catch!  Two happy boys.  Hopefully they will cherish this memory for a long time. Man-bonding.  And us girls were just as eager as the guys to eat.

Slurping the juice. 

The next day, vultures were circling the last last of the unfrozen crab.

And Hanny?  While she enjoyed her share of the crab.  She was in love with this sea lion sculpture.  A "mama" who she loved on the whole trip we were there.  Even before we saw real ones at the Oregon Coast Aquarium or the docks, she was in love.  But hey, isn't that how we all feel about the beach?